Behavioural therapy: Depression
LEWINSOHN (1974) developed a behavioural therapy based on clients taking up pleasurable activities and improved social skills. The therapist works with the patient to develop an action plan for trying new activities. The therapist then ensures that all positive behaviours are rewarded while negative behaviours are ignored.
Family members are also involved to ensure this occurs outside of the therapy sessions. The therapist also teaches the patient different social skills including basic verbal and non-verbal skills. They also learn how to recognise cues in other people and how to respond more appropriately. The practice gained in homework tasks is essential for the success of the treatment.
This treatment works because learning new behaviours leads to more positive reinforcements and encourages the person to do more. Thus, bringing them back up out of depression.
EVALUATION OF BEHAVIOUR THERAPIES
Whole package required:
- Only effective if it is delivered by a therapist as a whole package. Isolated elements of the programme are not effective .e.g. just improving social skills
Combination of therapies:
- Many therapists have started combining behavioural techniques with cognitive techniques (e.g. CBT). This is a less reductionist approach.
Focus on Nurture